This two-piece uniform is from the Grand Rapids Fire Department. It was worn by Leon Williams around 1950. It is made of navy blue wool and consists of two pieces that include a jacket and trousers. The jacket has three gold bars on the proper left sleeve cuff that represent 15 years of service.
Grand Rapids Fire Department The Grand Rapids Fire Department was founded in 1849 after the Wendell residence on Fulton Street and Lafayette Avenue burned down with nearly all its contents. Citizens approached the village council and demanded a fire brigade be established. That fall, Alert Fire Company Number 1 was established with twenty-eight members.
Since 1849, the Grand Rapids Fire Department has grown to include eleven stations with 221 members across the city.
Leon Williams Leon Williams was born in 1924 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He served in the United States Army during World War II and was captured in Germany at the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. He was released in May 1945. Williams joined the Grand Rapids Fire Department in 1948 and served until he retired as Fire Chief in 1986. He passed away in 2017.